The Arts

October 14, 2012

Seize the Day with Laughter

2012-09-15 06.40.08

I recently had the opportunity of attending a workshop by Ramon Ramirez, creator of Smarty Cartoons where he shared his experiences in the world of cartoons, and encouraged aspiring artists.

Cartoonist and art teacher, Ramon had some good advice “Believe in yourself and don’t let anybody tell you that you are not good.” He said. This is a great message because artists tend to pursue perfection and value people’s opinions.  Sometimes, those opinions are not necessarily complimenting which can hurt the sensitivity of an artist, and it is important to handle these comments well.

Ramon’s great talent, humor and ingenuity led him to create Smarty Cartoons in 1987.  Only in the Valley, Teacher Toons and Raza Toons came later, and Ramon said he is currently working on new projects.  My favorite one is Only in the Valley because it somewhat relates to La Vida Valle.  Ramon’s Only in the Valley cartoons have been featured in the McAllen Monitor with great success, and Only in the Valley’s Facebook page has broken all local fan base records. It takes a very observant person with a great sense of humor to create these clever cartoons featuring local politics and lifestyles. Ramon injects his personal energy into all of them. His editorial cartoons, on the other hand, have given him the opportunity to challenge elected officials and send a strong social message. I believe there should be more editorials like his, and Ramon’s intelligent use of free speech should be emulated by the local media who fall short of any local political analysis.

What struck me the most about Ramon was his unselfishness and his charisma. It is obvious he loves what he does; for he wants to help others achieve the same success. He invests his time and energy motivating others to pursue their dreams. During his presentation, he talked about getting your name out there, how to network, how to promote and protect artwork and how to build up a business.

Ramon also advised his audience to stay away from negative people, as a reminder of how negativity surrounds us every day and how we are responsible for identifying it and pushing it aside. “Be happy and laugh,” He said, “Love what you do and don’t give your work away, but rather value it and value the time it took to create it,” said Ramon with his contagious energy. At the end of his presentation, Ramon autographed postcards where he wrote; “Seize the day with laughter.”

Ramon Ramirez is available for education/school conferences and events as motivational speaker, for booking information please call Ramon at 956-330-1002 or by e-mail [email protected]

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About the Author

Tapia - Gonzales
La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" living in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Life, art and culture, poetry, prayers, travel, and camping! yes, that's my new thing. I blame the heat and high humidity for the madness. Contributions and comments are always welcome .


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